Several Tigers make All-ODAC football team

Published 2:31 pm Thursday, November 24, 2022

Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) placed nine student-athletes on the 2022 All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Football Teams, including four First Team and five Second Team selections, while freshman wide receiver Mason Cunningham of Arlington was picked as the ODAC Rookie of the Year.

Earning First Team All-ODAC honors were senior tight end David Byler of Virginia Beach, junior running back Melik Frost of Hardeeville, South Carolina, junior offensive lineman T.J. Minter of Chester and junior defensive back Will Pickren of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Garnering Second Team All-ODAC accolades were Cunningham, as an all-purpose back, fifth-year quarterback Tanner Bernard of Lynchburg, sophomore wide receiver Austin Fernandez of Warrenton, fifth-year defensive lineman Michael Harris of Ashland and junior defensive back James-Ryan Salvi of Troutville.

Mason Cunningham started seven of 10 games and had 59 receptions for 660 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He ranks second in the ODAC in receptions and receptions per game (5.9), is tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns, and tied for fifth in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (66.0). Mason averaged 5.4 yards on eight punt returns with a long return of 10 yards.

David Byler started all 10 games and had 49 receptions for 547 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He ranks fourth in the ODAC in receptions (47), tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns, fifth in receptions per game (4.9), and seventh in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (54.7). David established a new season record for receptions by a tight end at H-SC with his 49 receptions, and completed his H-SC career with 59 career receptions for 640 yards and seven touchdowns-starting 12 of 27 career games.

Melik Frost started all 10 games and rushed for 943 yards on 201 carries (4.7) and 12 touchdowns, adding 236 yards receiving on 26 receptions and one receiving touchdown. He leads the ODAC in rushing yards and rushing yards per game (94.3), and ranks second in all-purpose yards (1,179), all-purpose yards per game (117.9), rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns (13).

T.J. Minter started all 10 games, anchoring the offensive line from his left tackle position as the Tigers accounted for 4,275 yards of total offense (427.5), including 1,139 yards rushing (113.9) and 3,136 yards passing (313.6) with 44 touchdowns. Minter is now a two-time All-ODAC First Team selection.

Will Pickren started all 10 games at safety and had 123 total tackles, including 48 solo and 75 assisted, 5.0 tackles for loss, two interceptions, three pass breakups, one forced fumble, one quarterback hurry and one blocked PAT kick. He leads the ODAC in total tackles and tackles per game, and is tied for sixth in interceptions. He ranks third in Division III in total tackles and tackles per game. Will is a now a three-time All-ODAC First Team selection.

Tanner Bernard, a second-year team captain, started all eight games he played and passed for 2,486 yards (204-311, 65.6%) and 21 touchdowns with four interceptions. He leads the ODAC in passing yards per game (310.8), completions per game (25.5) and total offense (310.2), ranks second in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage (65.6), passing efficiency (152.52) and passing yards per attempt (8.0), and fourth in passing yards per completion (12.2). He ranks fourth in Division III in passing yards per game and completions per game and eighth in total offense. Tanner is now a three-time All-ODAC selection (First Team in 2021), and completed his H-SC career with 5,965 yards passing and 44 touchdowns, adding 84 yards rushing and five touchdowns for 6,049 yards of total offense-starting 23 of 23 career games.

Austin Fernandez started all 10 games and had 60 receptions for 775 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He leads the ODAC in receptions and receptions per game, is third in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (77.5), and is tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns.

Michael Harris, a team captain, started all nine games he played and had 29 total tackles, including 12 solo and 17 assisted, three tackles for loss, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one blocked PAT kick. Michael is a now a two-time All-ODAC selection, and completed his H-SC career with 101 career tackles, including 36 solo and 65 assisted, nine tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one quarterback hurry and one blocked PAT kick-starting 29 of 33 career games.

James-Ryan Salvi started all 10 games at safety and had 98 total tackles, including 39 solo and 59 assisted, 0.5 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He ranks third in the ODAC in total tackles and tackles per game, and is tied for fourth in pass breakups.